Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — Kate Cusick is moving to Florida soon to attend the Saddlebrook Tennis Academy in Tampa, Fla. Before leaving though, the Timpview sophomore took care of some business at home.
Cusick played superb tennis throughout the 4A state tournament this week, easily capturing the first singles state title. But arguably more importantly she led Timpview to its first state title since 2001.
“This is the best day of my life,” said Cusick, who was a first singles semifinalist as a freshman.
The sophomore was the only Timpview player to advance to Saturday’s championship round, but thanks to a strong showing Thursday and Friday her team secured just enough points to claim the 4A state title, edging Olympus 12-11.
Timpview coach Michelle Landers is still stunned 12 points was good enough to win a state championship. Twelve points would’ve only been good enough for a third-place tie last season.
“I didn’t think we could win with 12 points, I thought it would take at the minimum 14,” said Landers. “I thought it was going to take two in the finals.”
That didn’t happen, but Olympus “lost in just the right places” to pave the way for Timpview’s title.
Bonneville, Bountiful and Maple Mountain finished tied for third with eight points, while Skyline and Sky View right behind with seven in the tightly bunched tournament.
Landers said the goal coming in was for Timpview to get everyone through the first round and see what happened after that — hopefully a top-three finish. Thanks to Cusick’s triumph at first singles over Judge’s Katie Iwasaki, the T-Birds exceeded their goal and claimed the title.
Timpview’s first doubles team of Kali Cravens and Emily Christensen scored important points Friday, and nearly advanced to the final before falling to Olympus Megan Bell and Haleigh Downing, 6-1, 6-7, 6-1.
“I wanted to win so bad and just do my best, and wanting to win for my partner,” said Christensen, who quickly talked about the excitement of the team title. “We all played our part through getting yesterday’s matches. If we didn’t win the matches we did yesterday we wouldn’t be here today.”
Olympus’ team of Bell and Downing went on to win the first doubles state title, as all five positions were claimed by a different school.
A year after taking state at first doubles, East senior Ruby Parkin secured the second singles championship with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Bonneville’s Hailey Daniels.
Skyline’s Sarah Cassell claimed the third singles title by beating Bountiful’s Sara Jones in a marathon three-setter, 6-0, 3-6, 6-4.
The second doubles title was won by Maple Mountain’s Michelle Parrot and Emma Harlan, as they topped Sky View’s Casey Hunt and Sara Pierson. A round earlier, though, Maple Mountain’s victory over Olympus’ Hannah Durham and Zaylie Collins produced some of the loudest cheers of the day — especially from Timpview. The semifinal victory by Maple Mountain officially clinched the team title for the T-Birds.
4A State Tournament
At Liberty Park
1. Timpview, 12; 2. Olympus, 11; 3 (tie). Bonneville, Bountiful, Maple Mountain, 8 (tie). Skyline, Sky View, 7; 8. East, 6.
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